Build a system, not a productPosted: December 5, 2009
The turtle has an idea. He thinks it is so great he doesn’t tell anyone about it because he is afraid they might steal it. He keeps it locked in a box, waiting for the perfect opportunity to get funding and make the idea reality. He is waiting and he is waiting and he is waiting…
The grasshopper builds a product. He knows that the idea in the box will never build itself. What matters is action and getting started. So he builds and he builds and he builds…
The master grows a system. She knows that no matter how good she thinks her idea is, what matters is only what the customer thinks. That is why the master builds her startup as a learning system that can adapt to new findings – evolve. She knows that in a startup, both the problem and the solution are unknowns. The idea is useless until proven otherwise. The product is useless until proven otherwise. So you must always be learning.
Unlike the turtle, the master is not afraid to talk about her idea because that is how you learn.
Unlike the grasshopper, the master is not afraid to release an early beta product because that is how you learn.
The master builds her product and her entire company like a living system, an organism with eyes and ears, agile and adaptive.
Because that is how you learn.